Jozef has managed some amazing restaurants in both Australia and the UK, recently leading the team at Hobart’s The Glass House to win ‘Cocktail Bar of the Year Tasmania’ in 2019.
As Tesoro’s ‘go-to’ Tasmanian wine and spirits expert, be sure to say hello to Jozef and ask him about his latest favourite tipple!
Q: We know you’ve worked at some amazing restaurants and bars in your career. Can you tell us more about your background and any career highlights?
I originally studied Hotel Management in Slovakia but I never imagined the places that this career path would take me. I moved to London right after school where I worked my way up in the industry and I have been part of the opening teams for 5 star hotels on two occasions. One was a hotel in London and the other was a hotel in Germany. Most of my career I have worked in 5 star hotels meeting lots of interesting people... from Hollywood A list celebrities, sport personalities and government officials to royals! Some highlights would include playing table tennis and having a glass of champagne with Roger Federer at a Moet & Chandon event and attending the first ever Victoria Secret Fashion show outside of the USA.
Q: What’s the best part of being a restaurant manager?
As a restaurant manager you not only get to meet lots of exciting and interesting people every day but you also get to work with many inspirational individuals. Many of my best friendships comes from either meeting people in the restaurant or working together at the same hotel.
Q: Have you ever been to Italy? Where did you go and what was your most memorable foodie experience there?
I have visited Naples in the past and when you visit Naples, pizza is a must! No matter where you buy it, it’s just amazing.
Q: What do you love about the way Tesoro maintains Italian authenticity with a modern twist?
What I love about Tesoro is that we work with fresh local produce, we source our products very carefully and we get to know our producers and their families, why they do what they do and what makes their product so special. Because of this we are able to showcase and work with the best and freshest products available. It’s a very similar way of hosting your friends and family in small Italian country towns where you would go to see your friends in the market or farms and buy their products for your family. From one family to another, that is the same way we see our guests here. Our guests are family that come to visit and we host them with the best Tasmania has to offer.
Q: Tasmania is a well-loved foodie destination. Do you have any travel tips for those looking to visit Hobart?
Here in Tasmania we take pride in what we do and how we treat our guests/visitors but yes there are a few places that are closest to my heart. I like to visit is Brunny Island for their oysters and the Huon Valley for their apples and vineyards where most of them have small restaurant attached. There are also many other places that offer local products from seafood to meats.
Q: The Tesoro menu is a real treasure trove of gourmet treats. If you could choose only one, what is your favourite ‘must try’ dish?
Ribeye steak on the bone is my absolute favourite meal on the menu. It is over 500g of beautiful juicy meat that is dry aged for 50 days.
Q: We know you have a passion for all things wine and spirits – and supporting local! – So what gems will diners discover on the Tesoro drinks list?
We are working with locals to bring the best possible products to our guests including many exciting Tasmanian wines and spirits. We use local whisky, gins and liquors to inspire our cocktails and love hosting evenings where guests get to meet the people behind their favourite wines or spirits. We also use locally sourced ingredients and products to create our own treasures, like barrels from local distilleries to age our cocktails and infusing spirits with local seasonal fruits to create uniquely Tasmanian drinks. I personally love whisky and I am always looking for new exciting additions to put behind the bar.
Q: What is the best food and drink pairing/combo you’ve ever had?
I was fortunate enough to experience a whisky menu pairing at Glenmorangie Distillery in Scotland. This was a seven course dinner menu experience where each course had an element of whisky in it and was paired with a whisky. Definitely one of the the best food and drink pairings I have ever had.
Q: When you’re out on the town with friends, what’s your tipple of choice?
Negroni all day, every day! At Tesoro we age our Negroni in bourbon barrels which makes it even more delicious.